Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Our Address

Several people have asked what is our address in Rwanda?  We'll be receiving mail at a PO Box that Living Water has.  It costs 94 cents to send a letter, and we would love to receive mail.  Please don't send any packages.  It's very expensive to ship and we are at the whim of what ever "duty" the Rwandans decide to charge us to receive it.

Living Water International - Magruders
P.O. Box 6712
Kigali, Rwanda Africa


Counting Down

We're on the countdown now!  I'm procrastinating packing by updating my blog.  It really hit home this morning when I heard one of the kids telling the others..."We leave for Africa on monday."  I don't even know what the context was, but it made it even more REAL for me.  Ashley 

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Women's Work

This,LWI News Article, is a great window into the daily struggle of women and girls in majority world countries reported on by my great friend Paul.  Paul spent 10 years in El Salvador as a missionary for Living Water International and has a real heart for this struggle.  Add to this the reality of chronic diarrhea and imagine the likely hood of a young girl attending a school.  Without the basic need of clean safe water being met this cycle will continue.

Thanks Paul,

MacGregor

Thursday, October 23, 2008

keeping us flexible



Change of plans and housing.  We're not going to be staying in the furnished apartment with the wonderful sounding name.  Instead, we'll be staying on the second floor of the LWI office.  Another missionary couple lives there, but they will be on vacation back in the USA through the end of the year.  This is good.  1.  LWI can drill a well with the cost of the furnished apartment.  2.  The house is very nice, as you can see.  3.   The office is in the downstairs, so Mac can get acquainted with work right away.  Did I mention the house also has three staff-persons?  Most of the houses are like this with a wall and gate around them.  We'll stay here until we find a place to rent and the shipping container with our stuff arrives.  Pray that it will before the end of the year!
Ashley

Are you and the kids excited?

This is by far the number one question that I get asked on a daily basis.  Of course we all have a few butterflies.  We're moving to Africa!  But - I'm reading Led by Faith - Immaculee Ilbaziga's new book.  I love it and would recommend it to anyone.  And, YES we are excited.  Thanks for asking.  

Knowledge is power!

Knowledge is power - I learned that from Schoolhouse rock.  And Oprah likes to say, "When you know better - you do better."  So, please allow me to brag on my hubby a bit.  I'm so proud of him.  He went to Lafayette yesterday to speak at his cousin's high school.  He was supposed to show a short video and then speak for a total of about 45 minutes about Living Water and what we will be doing in Rwanda.  The student's had so many questions that the presentation went on for an hour and 15 minutes.  The teachers finally had to stop, because the kids would have kept going. Who knows what can happen when young hearts are touched, but I'm pretty sure that someone in that audience heard something that will change their life.  I remember watching a documentary in school, called Small Happiness.  It was about how girls born in China are not a big happiness like their brothers.  What's crazy is that I cannot remember the teacher, class, or year that I saw that video.  However it stuck with me enough to change my life.  We adopted Ella Jade from China, largely in part because of that movie.  The Lord works in mysterious and ordinary ways.
Ashley

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Water and Sanitation are key to development

This is an interesting article from the Financial Times concerning water and sanitation

Aid donors should focus on water, says UN report By Fiona Harvey in London

Published: October 20 2008 03:00 | Last updated: October 20 2008 03:00 


Donor nations should focus on providing water and sanitation in developing countries before trying to improve education, health and trade, a United Nations study found.


Installing toilets and ensuring safe water supplies would do more to end poverty and improve health than any other measure, said the UN University.


Without such fundamental services as sanitation and access to clean water, projects to improve the economy or people's wellbeing are likely to fail, said Zafar Adeel, director of the UN University's international network on water, environment and health.


"Development aid would be much better spent if you tackle the water and sanitation issue first," he said.


The study says donors have failed to focus on water and sanitation, favouring instead projects such as improvements to infrastructure, health and education.


A report published last month by the charities WaterAid and Tearfund found the developed world was giving a smaller proportion of its overall aid to water and sanitation projects.


Furthermore, less than a quarter of the aid intended to give people access to clean water and sanitation was going to the regions where it was most needed.


Water and sanitation are pressing problems: more than 2.6bn people lack access to decent sanitation and about 1bn lack access to clean drinking water.


As a result an estimated 5,000 children die every day in the developing world from preventable infectious conditions such as diarrhoea.


A lack of access to water and sanitation leads to serious health problems, damages economic productivity, and prevents girls from completing their education, as a lack of private toilets means most leave school at puberty in many regions.


As well as imperilling the success of other aid efforts by failing to sort out sanitation, donor countries are missing out on an opportunity to get much more out of their aid, said Mr Adeel. "The return [from directing aid to water and sanitation] is on the order of eight or 10 times the expenditure."


Aid for water and sanitation services also opens new service business opportunities for local entrepreneurs, according to the UN University report.


The report found that mapping where in the world water and sanitation problems are most urgent would be a valuable first step in redirecting aid to focus on these issues.


Found here:  http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/cf0d594e-9e2b-11dd-bdde-000077b07658.html?nclick_check=1


Less than 2 weeks to go!

God bless,

MacGregor


Monday, October 13, 2008

Great Weekend

With 3 weeks to go we had a wonderful weekend.

First Presbyterian Church of Baton Rouge celebrated our commissioning with a great time of prayer for us.

Ashley's family was in for a weekend reunion from Memphis and it was a blast.

Plus a big going away party in Baton Rouge hostessed by my mom with a surprise visit from my sister all the way from San Antonio.

We are exhausted and happy to have a regular work week.  

It was great to be so loved on all weekend.  Some pics will be added.


Tuesday, October 7, 2008